Book Lovers, Clear Your Calendars!


Book lovers of the North Shore, clear your calendars for the last weekend of April. On Saturday, April 27, bookstores across the country will be celebrating Independent Bookstore Day. It’s one big party, and each store marks the day in its own unique way. 

My bookstore, the Book Shop of Beverly Farms, will have a wheel of fun to spin to win discounts and giveaways and we’ll have exclusive items for sale that are only available at participating indie bookstores starting on the 27th.

These include a special paperback edition of A Stroke of the Pen by Terry Pratchett, which has 20 newly-unearthed short stories by the late bestselling author, along with woodcut illustrations, and a foreword by Neil Gaiman; a signed fifth-anniversary edition of The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht; a signed limited edition of An Excellent Host by Chelsea G. Summers, which has two new stories from the author of A Certain Hunger; Independent Bookstore Day Blackwing pencils; and, for the kids, there’s a signed limited edition of the new Bubbly Beautiful Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham.

This Indie Bookstore Day weekend also marks the launch of the North of Boston Book Trail. Pick up a passport at any of the 16 participating bookstores (including the Book Shop of Beverly Farms, of course!) and see how many stores you can visit over the course of the weekend, picking up stamps at each store as you go. At the end, be entered to win over $4500 in prizes. (Visit for all the details.) 

Finally, make time to head up to Newburyport for the 19th annual Newburyport Literary Festival. The festival opens at 6 p.m. Friday, April 26, at the Firehouse Center for the Arts with an event honoring local Newburyport historians Bethany Groff Dorau, Dyke Hendrickson and Ghlee E. Woodworth. 

On Saturday the 27th, dozens of authors will be appearing at nine different venues across Newburyport. (You’ll be able to find Book Shop of Beverly Farms booksellers selling books at the Newburyport Public Library and the Old South Church.) There’s a little something for everyone. Notably Sam Pfeifle, co-owner of the Book Shop, will be moderating a panel about baseball writing with Keith O’Brien, author of the new Pete Rose biography Charlie Hustle, and Chad Finn, sports and sports media columnist and editor of The Boston Globe Story of the Red Sox. In other events, Michael Cunningham will be talking about his new novel Day; Celestine Martin will be discussing the allure of the Romantasy genre, including her Elemental Love series; Eric Jay Dolin will be presenting his newest work of maritime history, Left for Dead; and Tamar Haspel digs into self-sustaining … which she writes about in her memoir To Boldly Grow: Finding Joy, Adventure, and Dinner in Your Own Backyard — among many, many other options!

Finally, the weekend wraps up on Sunday, April 28 with a day of online events. As part of Sunday’s festivities, Sam and I will be hosting a live recording of our podcast, John Updike’s Ghost, with guests Jami Attenberg and Steve Almond, two accomplished authors with new books out about the craft of writing, 1000 WORDS: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Long and Truth is the Arrow, Mercy is the Bow: A DIY Manual for the Construction of Stories, respectively. 

We’ll be talking about writing and writing communities, as well as our most favorite recent books. The Book Shop will also be open that day from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. so travelers on the North of Boston Book Trail can stop in to collect their stamps—and hopefully a well-chosen book to settle down with after such a busy weekend.  

Hannah Harlow is owner of The Book Shop, an independent bookstore in Beverly Farms.  Harlow writes biweekly recommendations for us.  See more of what she recommends reading at